1740] To the Hon. Henry Seymour Conway 83
Hoc e$t, quod unum est, pro laboribus tantis. 0 quid solutis est leatius curis?
We shall never come home again; a universal war is just upon the point of breaking out; all outlets will Tbe shut up. I shall he secure in my nothingness, while you, that will be so absurd as to exist, will envy me. You don't tell me what proficiency you make in the noble science of defence u. Don't you start still at the sound of a gun? Have you learned to say Ha! ha! and is your neck clothed with thunder ? Are your whiskers of a tolerable length ? And have you got drunk yet with brandy and gunpowder? Adieu, noble captain!
35. To THE HON. HENRY SEYMOUK CONWAY.
MY DEAR HAL, Florence, September 25, 1740. N.S.
I begin to answer your letter the moment I have read it, because you bid me; but I grow so unfit for a correspondence with anybody in England, that I have almost left it off. "Pis so long since I was there, and I am so utterly a stranger to everything that passes there, that I must talk vastly in the dark to those I write; and having in a manner settled myself here, where there can be no news, I am void of all matter for filling up a letter. As, by the absence of the Great Duke, Florence is become in a manner a country town, you may imagine that we are not without devneles; but for a country town I believe there never were a set of people so peaceable, and such strangers to scandal. "Pis the family of love, where everybody is paired, and go as constantly together as paroquets. Here nobody hangs or drowns themselves ; they are not ready to cut one another's throats about elections or parties; don't think that wit
II West thought of entering the army. See his letter to Horace Wai-
pole, June 22, 1741 (Gray and his Friends, pp. 150-3).